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Go beyond the login box with Customer Identity Cloud

By Leading The Product

As LTP draws closer, we want to highlight the amazing support we receive from our sponsors each year and 2024 is no exception. The wisdom, insights and products that our amazing sponsors have produced are second to none and it wouldn’t be fair to withhold some of their learnings, thoughts and tips on how to adopt new product thinking and adapt to disruption in the product industry.

So please, read and enjoy the awesome content that they have shared with us in the lead up to Leading the Product 2024!

Pay a bill. Chat with friends. Order food. Browse clothes. Plan a trip. Laugh at cat videos. In the digital world, much of what we do, where we turn for information, and even how we decompress happens on the other side of a login box.

From initial signup to every login, Customer Identity is the digital touchpoint customers repeatedly encounter as they return to a business’ online properties. It’s a business’ first impression and, potentially, its competitive differentiation. A lot hinges on the Customer Identity experience, so it’s important for companies to get it right.

However, those touchpoints and experiences don’t always meet customer expectations. Across industries, customers face several obstacles: too much friction, too little security, and too much time wasted.

Some login experiences seem designed to test patience rather than build brand affinity. Here are real-life examples from Okta employees and recent Oktane attendees of times their user experience entered the “phone-throwing, curse-shouting” zone:

  • A healthcare provider required three separate logins: one for billing, one for lab results, and yet another for communicating with the doctor.
  • A retail site kept logging people out, deleting cart contents every time. Suffice it to say, the sale didn’t happen.
  • A one-time PIN code via mail. Not email. But physical mail — as in the post office.

It doesn’t have to be this way. When done right, Customer Identity can drive conversions, spur rapid innovation, and keep users secure. Most importantly, it can make a first impression that delights, not bedevils.

That’s why we created the Okta Customer Identity Cloud, powered by Auth0. Underpinned by AI, the Okta Customer Identity Cloud helps businesses:

  • Enhance the customer experience by analyzing trends in user conversions
  • Get to market quickly by optimizing critical developer workflows like branding, signup, and sign-in
  • Mitigate risk by detecting and responding to Identity-based attacks in real time

Customer experience: A pivotal part of the growth engine

Login goes beyond authentication. It’s about doctor’s appointments, registering for classes, or getting your hands on those hard-to-get Taylor Swift concert tickets. At the heart of all of these interactions is user experience. And it’s the application builders who hold the key to shaping superior user experiences that drive businesses forward.

However, an application builder’s role isn’t just technical. It’s strategic. They must deliver growth, push the boundaries of what’s possible, and build experiences that resonate with users.

And the quality of those experiences adds up to real dollars: revenue we can keep and grow or watch walk out the door.

According to PWC, a third of consumers say they will walk away from a brand they love after one bad experience. Eighty-nine percent of consumers will shop with a competitor after a poor user experience. And a recent study showed that businesses in the EU and U.S. have lost $260 billion through cart abandonment due to bad checkout flow and design over the past decade.

But when executed correctly, Customer Identity becomes a pivotal part of the growth engine. For example, Okta customer Arduino showed a 20% jump in user conversions with their Customer Identity implementation.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that developers tasked with creating those experiences don’t want to spend time on work that isn’t driving innovation. They want to leverage proven patterns to focus on building what’s most valuable to customers. It’s all possible with Identity Flow Optimizer with Okta AI. With this new feature, available early next year (2025), developers on Customer Identity Cloud can leverage AI-powered inline recommendations on the Identity configurations and actions they should add to boost conversions, improve security, and build apps faster.

Tailoring Identity to individual business needs

Unfortunately, not every business decision is as straightforward as making frictionless user experiences a priority. In the world of Customer Identity, countless considerations make a one-size-fits-all approach tough to implement. A business’ unique customers, goals, and privacy requirements don’t exist in a vacuum. They’re layered on top of myriad authentication options, new devices, and ever-evolving threats.

This is where flexibility comes in: Okta lets customers tailor Identity to their business needs, from enabling them to learn more about their users to eliminating passwords. In fact, moving closer to a passwordless future — an important step toward better security and Identity Access Management (IAM) — is the type of innovation and flexibility businesses need in this new digital world.

Passkeys

Having fewer passwords is a necessary goal, considering most users have more than 90 online accounts. However, digital identities now go beyond simple accounts, passwords, and logins. There’s a lot more at stake.

One of the most exciting developments on this front is Passkeys. This Okta-supported feature, now Generally Available, is the latest evolution of FIDO authentication and makes secure sign-in and sign-up as easy as unlocking a phone.

Digital credentials

As more of our world — think governments, financial services, and educational institutions — moves online, we’re increasingly required to verify sensitive details about ourselves to access this new digital paradigm. The question is, How do we do that safely while maintaining privacy, usability, and security? The answer lies in another area of innovation: digital credentials.

Digital credentials — replacements for physical ID cards — are the future. Soon, the expensive ID-proofing tools that used photos of paper or plastic cards will be considered relics. Instead, IDs will live in a digital wallet on people’s phones, making digital experiences faster and easier. In fact, digital IDs are already in use. The mobile driver’s license (mDL) is one of the fastest-growing credential standards in the U.S.

Support for mobile driver’s licenses

This technology could revolutionize the way we manage and use our digital identities.

MDLs deliver increased privacy and security and a better user experience. They’re also less expensive to issue and verify than their physical counterparts

Okta has focused a great deal of research and development on digital credentials. We’re helping organizations and governments worldwide adopt this pivotal technology. Later this year, Customer Identity Cloud will add Support for Mobile Driver’s Licenses, which enables organizations to perform online verification of mDLs.

With so many different digital credential technologies emerging, flexibility is key. Customers should be free to choose the solutions that best meet their needs. That’s why neutrality and extensibility are the foundations of Okta and at the heart of everything we do.

Overcoming challenges, accelerating growth

As businesses grow, their customer bases become larger and more diverse. The ability to seamlessly manage multiple organizations while improving efficiencies and maintaining growth becomes even more critical. But that shouldn’t come at the expense of innovation.

Businesses should have the space to focus on their core product rather than spinning their wheels trying to solve for Identity. This is why we’re continually investing in and solving for customers’ evolving scale and complexity needs. Here are some existing and upcoming features and products designed to address those very needs:

  • Okta Organizations: Business-to-business customers can now manage and customize Identity workflows for as many business customers as they want — while experiencing the same performance and reliability they’ve come to expect from Okta.
  • System for Cross-domain Identity Management (SCIM): Supported across both clouds, Okta’s SCIM system automates the provisioning and removal of user access across applications and simplifies the synchronization of user directories. (General Availability in the first half of 2024)
  • Guide with Okta AI: Comprehensive Okta Integration Network onboarding assistance intuitively maps out the best possible steps for users, seamlessly steering them toward the most valuable workflows. (Limited Early Access in Q4 2024)
  • Fine Grained Authorization: Gives businesses and developers the flexibility to implement authorization in a way that fits their needs — whether that’s coarse-grained, fine-grained, or anything in between. (Now in Limited Early Access)

Balancing security with everything else

Securing Customer Identity requires looking beyond login. Companies must focus on the entire customer lifecycle, from sign-up (where fraudulent registrations happen) to password reset and account recovery (the favorite abuse vectors for account takeover).

Bot Detection

Okta AI continues to play a big role in how we’re helping customers thwart bots. Our Bot Detection feature regularly iterates on machine learning models to monitor for threats and optimize security posture.

Tenant Security Manager with Okta AI

New technologies mean an expanded attack surface. AI is no different. Using AI, attackers now can tailor their phishing attacks and circumvent traditional defense mechanisms. That’s why we’re investing even more in AI capabilities across Customer Identity Cloud.

Tenant Security Manager with Okta AI, available in Limited Early Access in the second half of 2024, enriches our Attack Protection capabilities with intelligent security recommendations through security snapshot alerts and dashboard notifications to improve your tenant’s security posture. Our customers have benefitted from the centralized real-time view of all Identity threat traffic with the recent launch of Security Center.

Highly Regulated Identity

The stakes are much higher for some industries. Our State of Secure Identity report shows financial services institutions are the second-most-targeted vertical. Unsurprisingly, some of these highly regulated industries are at the forefront of implementing solutions such as Strong Customer Authentication, an EU requirement for some digital payments, and adhering to regulations such as Financial Services API (FAPI). These solutions are designed to provide maximum security, following rigorous standards and specifications without compromising user experience.

Those financial regulations and standards form the foundation of Okta’s Highly Regulated Identity, a FAPI 1 Advanced-certified solution that raises the bar for security and privacy controls and user experience. Generally Available in the first half of 2024, it addresses the complex and nuanced fraud, compliance, and user experience needs for the most sensitive scenarios.

Okta Expert Assist

No matter the industry, Okta products can be configured with different levels of security measures to fit a business’s needs. Okta Expert Assist is a new offering that gives companies expert advice to ensure their configuration matches their security risk and threat posture.

There are two parts: One is a service offering that brings our security experts directly to businesses for a thorough review and recommendation in line with their unique security posture. The second is a product component, driven by Okta AI, that will evolve and automate this process in the future.

Identity is no longer just a username and password

First impressions certainly matter, but Identity isn’t skin deep. To go beyond the login box, companies need a trusted, reliable, and secure solution. And for that journey, they need an Identity partner that gives them the space to do what they do best: grow and innovate.

Ready to go beyond the login box? Okta Customer Identity Cloud can take you there. Let’s talk.

Any products, features or functionality referenced in this material that are not currently generally available may not be delivered on time or at all. Product roadmaps do not represent a commitment, obligation or promise to deliver any product, feature or functionality, and you should not rely on them to make your purchase decisions.